Winland, a local photographer/artist, said the idea of a sci-fi/horror convention in Charleston isn't exactly new. Years ago, he said, the city hosted a Star Trek convention, but it struggled to keep going and eventually disappeared.
"But I know the interest is here," he said. "I've talked to people and, like me, they love this stuff. They just don't know what one of these conventions even looks like."
Last spring, Winland started looking for like-minded folks who could help plan and support the event. It didn't take long to find them.
"But we really didn't get started until April, and putting it all together with the venue and the guests, it just didn't make sense to go three days."
Still, they've managed to cram quite a bit of stuff into a single day: concerts, movies, a parade.
"We're going for mostly family-friendly," Winland said. "And most of it is. It's supposed to be fun."
Winland said they've had a lot of help. The city of South Charleston, he noted, has been very supportive and gracious in allowing them to set up around the Mound.
"We're going to be showing movies at the Labelle Theater all day, and the library is helping out with letting us have space for makeup workshops and a lecture on zombie preparedness."
Winland said his expectations for Shocka-Con are modest, which is why admission to most of the convention is free. Aside from the vendors charging for their wares, there's a suggested $5 donation to watch the films and some guests will require a fee for autographs. Otherwise, Winland said, they're keeping things cost free as much as they can -- if only to see what works.
"I think we'll see at least 300 people. I wouldn't be surprised at a thousand."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.